Swedish group shares Blackboard class

Nate Billings

Seven Swedish students and one instructor have come to visit Missouri Southern.

The students are part of a Blackboard course which was developed as a cooperation between Southern and Mullsjo in Folkhogskola, Sweden.

The course was designed for the institutions to take advantage of the unique skills each possesses. The Swedish institute offers Southern students an opportunity to learn photography skills and Southern, in turn, offers the Swedish students an opportunity to learn graphic design.

“We have about a 20 year history with taking our (Southern’s) students to Sweden,” said Nick Kyle, associate professor of art.

Kyle said because of the newest Blackboard course, the Swedish students had the opportunity to participate and work with Southern students for the last two weeks of the semester.

Orjan Heriksson, photography instructor at Mullsjo, said he is happy to come to Southern. He taught as a visiting professor and artist for one year at Southern.

“Hopefully, the Swedes will get plenty out of the graphics class, and the Americans will get some out of the photography class,” Heriksson said.

He said that the hospitality of the University has been comforting.

“We have been met with great hospitality,” he said. “It [the trip] looks like a great opportunity.”

His students agree.

Christoffer de Miguel, Malin Andersson, and Kristin Wilfing, students of Henriksson, said they have enjoyed meeting the American students in the class.

“It is interesting,” Andersson said. “It’s exciting to see the American culture.”

Miguel said the whole trip was something to experience.

The group will travel to Springfield and Kansas City to visit advertising firms and photography exhibits.

Wilfing said the University was large in comparison to their institution, which has only around 150 students on campus.

The Swedish students will work with the American students in pairs to complete one of the course assignments. The Swedish students will help Southern students work on photography during the project, and Southern students will work with the Swedish students to work with the photos on the computer.

The only complaint voiced by the Swedish students was toward the commuter nature of the area.

“It’s a little bit boring,” Miguel said. “You can’t walk anywhere. You have to have a car.”

Overall, however, the students were pleased with their trip. They enjoyed the weather and the friendliness of the students at Southern.

“We appreciate being looked after very well,” Andersson said.